To make any business successful you have to make it work like a well-oiled machine. Same goes for when you’re about to turn a real oiled machine, -i.e. a car- into your ridesharing business. So what should you be looking out for to find the best car for rideshare? Before you close a deal at your local dealership, there are several things that can turn your next car purchase into a smart business move.
1. The best car for rideshare is probably a used car
Driving off with a brand new car from a dealership, you are instantly throwing away thousands of dollars from what you just spent. In fact, within just three years, that car will lose up to 60% of its value. And with the mileage mounting from rideshare, you will lose more money than you’ll ever make driving it.
However, car depreciation isn’t such a bad thing if you’re out to buy a used car for rideshare. It means that you can find a very decent one without costing you an arm and a leg. So If you have decided to buy a car for rideshare, buy a car you can afford that also meets Uber and Lyft car requirements. You’ll be able to upgrade to a fancier car later, as your business grows.
2. Take your time to inspect and test drive to find the best car for rideshare
There are many great cars out there. Running into the first best rideshare car you’ll discover might make you think that’s too good of a deal to pass off. No need to rush though as there are plenty more fish in the sea. Still, if your heart is set on one in particular, take all the time that’s necessary to inspect and test drive it thoroughly.
When you inspect a car, start with its bodywork. Go around it and have a good look at the paintwork from all angles. Check for any dents, scratches, rust, or shade difference between parts. These can be hiding bigger problems, perhaps from a car crash that you should know about.
You can inspect the engine by looking at a few things and without having to be a mechanic yourself. First of all, make sure it’s well oiled by lifting the dipstick from its housing. If the oil’s color is very dark, the car may have been poorly maintained. Also by thoroughly looking for leaks or excessive rusting and by checking the filler cap to ensure there are no white deposits on the lid, you get a first idea of the state of the engine before doing a total mechanical inspection.
The more documentation a seller can give you on the car you wish to buy, the more confident you can be that it has been properly maintained and that it’s a great car for rideshare. This includes all registration documents, maintenance certificates and servicing records. If you get to see the paperwork you must make sure that all identifying information of the vehicle is the same across all documents.
What you should remember about test driving is that you need to see how the car responds in different situations.
Once you start driving, even if you pull away with a cold engine, the car should be able to start moving without any difficulty. As you drive, start changing the gears at a steady pace to ensure that it can be done easily and smoothly.
Follow a route that has many twists and turns to check the car’s handling and inspect its tracking by driving on a long straight road.
Also, check the car in traffic conditions too as it will give you a feel of how it performs during frequent stops and starts.
Throughout the test drive, try to notice any weird noises or vibrations, and remember to talk about them with the seller or your mechanic later.
3. The best rideshare car is one with fuel efficiency that helps you earn more.
It goes without saying that a car low in fuel consumption is a money saver when it comes to ridesharing. For your profit margins to flourish, the best car for rideshare is one that’s fuel-efficient, whether you’re doing a local urban ride or a long-distance journey. This is why many drivers when choosing their next car, opt for a hybrid. With its fuel efficiency being as high as 58mpg, spending a little bit more than you would normally do for a regular car, can prove a wise investment in the long run.
4. Number of passengers for your rideshare car: Let your area’s demand, decide for you.
Uber car requirements include that a car should have a minimum of four independently opening doors. Lyft car requirements are also similar. This means that two-seaters or 2+2 models are instantly off the list, as cars for rideshare must be able to transport at least 4 passengers.
Now if you buy a vehicle that can accommodate a large number, it will get you in one of the more premium services offered by some rideshare platforms, but you need to make sure that there is such demand in your area. Otherwise, the higher fuel costs that come along, make buying a minivan or an SUV not quite the best car for rideshare.
5. Overcoming finance hurdles in search for the best car for rideshare
Financing a car purchase as a rideshare driver may have a few hurdles to overcome. As independent contractors, rideshare drivers’ car deductions can reach up to 54.5 cents per mile. Even though showing a low annual income is a good thing for paying fewer taxes, it can be a problem if you want to finance big purchases like a car.
Also, the fact that this car will be used for rideshare makes banks and lenders less enthusiastic to lend for something that will depreciate faster than usual. So if you find yourself in that kind of situation, the best way to go around it is to work with someone that has leverage with your prospective lender and who’s also keen to help you. In this case, that will be a car sale’s person or manager at the dealership. Most likely he will be happy to do all the arrangements on your behalf in order to close the deal with you.